Sarah and her family are living in a village in eastern Poland (now Belarus) until the Germans invade. The ten-year-old girl watches as the Nazis lead her cousin and the village’s leading Jewish men - its rabbis, doctors and teachers - out of town, never to return. Soon, Sarah and her family are forced into a ghetto. In the cramped squalor of the ghetto they struggle to stay alive. One day, her older brother tells them about a rumor he has heard: a Jewish family, led by a man called Tuvia Bielski, has managed to escape and is hiding in the forest. They have armed themselves against the Nazis. Other rumors circulate in the ghetto as well, of camps where Jews are being sent to be murdered.
Sarah’s family argues whether their only chance of survival lies in the forest with the partisans. Finally, as the SS begins to liquidate the ghetto, Sarah’s parents urge her to leave them behind and escape to join the Bielski partisans. The author, Ruth Yaffe Radin, takes us along on Sarah’s quest to survive and find the partisans.
Escape to the Forest is based on a true story. The book includes a photograph of the real-life Sarah and a description of her escape, as well as a short biography of Tuvia Bielski. You can learn more about the Bielski partisans in the book of the month, Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, by Nechama Tec.
Escape to the Forest is suitable for children ages 8 to 12 and features black and white illustrations by Janet Hamlin.
The Library always welcomes suggestions for acquisitions. While we cannot guarantee that we will acquire the recommended title, we do appreciate your input.
To make a recommendation, please fill out our Acquisition Suggestion Form.